maandag 20 december 2010

Joanne Pence – If cooks could kill

The tenth book in the Angie Amalfi series, published in 2003.

If cooks could kill

After a series of failed culinary adventures, employment-challenged Angie Amalfi has decided to cook up something different: love! But Angie’s attempt at matchmaking fall flat as a failed soufflé, leaving best friend Connie Rogers stood up by a no-show jock. When Connie decides she’s more interested in a tarnished loner, things really start to boil over. Soon the police come looking for her in connection with a brutal robbery-homicide. And after her would-be boyfriend becomes a disappearing act, Connie and Angie set out to find him and the real killer. But when the trail leads Angie into the kitchen of her favourite Italian restaurant, she fears she’s about to discover an old family recipe that dishes out disaster … and murder!


Angie has only one thing on her mind: her engagement to Paavo! She loves the ring he gave her, showing it off at every opportunity. She is no longer interested in finding a career, she is studying marriage. Subscribing to the top bridal magazines, watching it on the shopping channel, and worse of all: matchmaking others!
And of course, sending Paavo presents. Which should not be such a problem, if she didn’t send them to his work place. The other officers enjoy themselves a lot, teasing Paavo and eating all the goodies Angie sends over. But enough is enough for Paavo, and he will have to find a way to get her to stop.

But in the meanwhile, Connie is lonely, and she wants to find a love for herself. So one night, complaining to the trio at Wings of an Angel, their favourite restaurant, Butch offers to set her up with his cousin Dennis, who plays for the Forty-Niners. Connie is really excited about that, a hot shot football player! He certainly will be able to take her places! But when he stands her up, she gets stuck with another man, also looking for Dennis. This Max is hurt, and down on his luck, looking very shabby. But still Connie feels a connection with him, and feeds him. Later on, she takes him home with her, only to have him rob her. She is furious! How could she fall for such a guy again! Didn’t she learn her lesson with her no-good ex-husband? Then she learns from Angie Dennis is sorry, and still wants to meet her. But she is weary now of men, and doesn’t fall for his smooth talking. Especially when he wants to talk about Max.

A very convoluted story unfolds: three years ago, a conwoman named Veronica stole 8 million dollars from Max’ clients, of whom Dennis was one. She ruined him, and got off with the money. But Max made sure she got for jail for it. And now she is free, and determined to take revenge for that. So when she sees Max and Conny together, and how much she resembles Conny, she thinks out a very diabolical plan. She has a diamond heist set up with some former friends, kind of mobsters, and she changes herself into a spitting image of Conny. And sets the cops after her. Paavo knows Conny, and cannot believe she murdered a courier, robbed a jeweler’s store and wounded the owner in the process. But how to prove her innocence when she is recognized in a line-up?
But Angie wouldn’t be Angie when she goes to the bottom of things and sorts it all out. And in the end, it is of course Paavo who saves them all from the real killer.

A nice story, different from the rest, but I liked it after a while.

7 stars.


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